Thursday, 27 December 2018

The sound of feathers.

Of the many beliefs attached to Christianity one of the most common is a belief in angels.

Some people dismiss belief in angels as fantasy, fiction, a sign of mental derangement or even a form of curruption.

If you ask me if I believe in angels the answer has to be yes, most definitely.

Do I believe in winged human look-alikes with super ;powers? definitely not.

Angels abound in everyday situations, are on hand when our need is greatest, come to our rescue when we need them most and are almost never recognised for what they are.

One of the things which I feel most embarrassed about is my inability to do quite simple basic things, like wire a plug, fiddle with the appropriate knobs, buttons, keys or whatever on gadgets which are easy everyday tools for many people including most children.

I have no aptitude for such things and as a result am surrounded by small problems which to most people can be solved in seconds, but in my life loom ominously until they become major problems.

While my husband was alive he would automatically sort out my household demons with the greatest of ease and no fuss, since his death 9 years ago I have had to throw myself on the mercy of neighbours, church friends or indeed anyone in the vicinity in order to be able to see (light bulbs), watch TV (replacement remote controls), prune branches in the garden (use a saw). and dozens of other things.

In early December I had to change the router for my internet supply, call a plumber to repair a leak, have a new outlet hose attached to my tumble dryer. and have my Ipad re-vamped to accept the new router.

Without neighbour Mick, British Gas Maint plumber (name unknown), gardener Nick, and friend and husband of cleaner Dick I would have had a terribly stressed and angst filled Christmas, instead thanks to my kind, caring and generous flock of angels I had a peaceful and relaxed rest.

All of them offered help and would accept no reward other than thanks and when I said how very grateful I was each one in turn said "any time, just ask".

I'm not certain, but I think I may have heard the rustle of wings.

Sunday, 9 December 2018


Does this look familiar?

Well it should.!

This is my default self-portrait for this time of year, and once again I am enjoying all the multiple joys of the annual Advent Cold Virus.

Streaming nose and eyes, 'orrible' cough, sore throat, explosive sneezes loud enough to blow the roof off and last but by no means least hot sweaty body.

It would be so nice to experience just one Christmas period without my regular companion but it appears to think I am a welcoming host.

Like many people my age an effective immune system is a thing of the past and every virus looking for victims heads my way with the world's best sat-nav.

It is of course, the busiest time for St M's choir (probably where I picked this up), and should I feel well enough to venture out tomorrow (impossible) I would also have the 1st Reading in addition to a morning's worth of Advent singing.

Apologies have been phoned and a substitute reader found, and just to add to my joys I have had to call out a plumber - who can't come until Monday - to repair a leak in a pipe in the bathroom.

This, in turn, means that even in the unlikely event of the virus having moved on, I will have to stay home all day and cancel my Monday stint at St M's.

As this is the day when my cleaner normally comes there is yet another phone call to be made and new arrangements to be made.

All this when I feel like something the cat dragged in.

Deep joy.

If anyone ever discovers a cure for the common (Oh so very common) cold, they should be given the Nobel Prize.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Advent Again

So, here we are again, the first Sunday in Advent tomorrow, kicking off in usual St Mary's style with a morning Eucharist followed by the Mayor's carol service at 5.30pm .

In the morning the anthem will be "O thou the central Orb" (not a favourite of  mine, and in the evening we will sing my favourite carol of all time "Jesus Christ the apple tree".

I try not to complain too much about singing hymns I don't like because there is always a compensatory one to balance it.

Our Friday evening choir practice was hard work, with half the crowd of regular volunteers erecting and decorating the two huge Christmas trees which will greet tomorrow's congregation.

Singing over the racket of hammering and noisy instructions all added to the general chaos, but somehow, as it  always does, the music was worked through and the c hurch ready for Advent by 9.00pm.

There is something magical about the twinkling lights on the trees and the ring of Advent candles lifted on its pulleys so that it sits high above the chancel ready to be lowered for the first candle to be lit on Sunday morning.

There really is something to be said for ritual.